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Southern Spirits by Robert F. Moss
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Southern Spirits

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Southern Spirits by Robert F. Moss
Hardcover $24.99
Apr 12, 2016 | ISBN 9781607748670

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  • Apr 12, 2016 | ISBN 9781607748670

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  • Apr 12, 2016 | ISBN 9781607748687

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Product Details


Southern Spirits is a broadly inclusive, meticulously researched, and beautifully written examination of a unique and uniquely important part of American culinary culture, and one that has not received enough serious attention from drink historians or historians of Southern foodways. This book should remedy that.”
– David Wondrich, author of Imbibe! and Punch
“This is a fascinating read that deserves a prominent place on the bookshelves of anyone with an interest in our drinking culture, so much of which was born in the South.”
– Gary Regan, author of The Negroni, and The Joy of Mixology
Southern Spirits adds a welcome and impeccably detailed chapter to the somewhat tattered history of drinking in America. From Caribbean rum imports through Madeira and the julep and on to Pappy Van Winkle, Moss deftly parses what we drank and why. I won’t lie: this book made me very thirsty.”
 – Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails
“In Southern Spirits, Robert F. Moss chronicles centuries of spirited traditions and debunks boozy tall tales in this defining look at the way Southerners have influenced the way we imbibe as a nation.”
– Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All
“In Southern Spirits, Robert F. Moss joins a hallowed cadre of mixographers including Daniel Okrent, Wayne Curtis, and David Wondrich who’ve carefully charted how our drinking habits and history aren’t just intertwined: they’re a reflection of each other.  For Americans, and Southerners in particular, perhaps we are what we drink even more than what we eat?”
– Jim Meehan, author of The PDT Cocktail Book
“Just as a proper sazerac requires an absinthe rinse, America now requires context with its cocktails. Robert F. Moss slakes our cultural and historical thirst in a book that broadens and deepens our understanding of what, why, and how my people drink. From Revolutionary war hero Francis Marion, who couldn’t hold his Madeira, to the Kentucky julep fabulist Irvin S. Cobb, Moss has assembled a rogue’s gallery of characters, who unspool telling stories of the tippling South.”
– John T Edge, co-editor The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook 

“Four hundred years of drinking distilled into almost as many pages, Southern Spirits looks at the history of a culturally rich region through the lens of its drinking habits. Lest you write it off as just another book about bourbon, Moss is quick to clear up the myth that Southern drinking is limited to the brown stuff, with the likes of rum, Madeira, brandy, cider and more all seeing starring roles. History buffs and cocktail nerds alike will delight in the thorough tome, which is sprinkled throughout with recipes that have stood the test of time.”
– Punch

“Dispel that image of a fine Southern gentlemen and his lady sipping mint juleps on their veranda and get prepared to hear the true story of drinking in the American South.”
– The Literary South

Southern Spirits isn’t just a cocktail recipe book—this is a cocktail book with in-depth reportage about the American South’s cocktail culture and the history behind its most iconic spirits, with recipes to boot. Written by the contributing barbecue editor forSouthern Living and Southern food correspondent for Serious Eats, historian Robert Moss proves that there’s more to the South than just bourbon and juleps. Dive in and you’ll find yourself reading about everything from Madeira wine to peach brandy.”
– Saveur 

Table Of Contents


| “Contrary to the Nature of the English”: The Failure of Beer and Wine

| That Damn’d Devil’s Piss: The Rise of Rum 20 

| Southern Drinking on the Eve of the Revolution 38 

| Three Times Around the Horn: Madeira Emerges 50 

| Revolutionary Spirits: An Interlude 60 

| Rye Whiskey and Corn Liquor 65 

| The Cocktail in Antebellum New Orleans 79 

| The Mint Julep 90 

| Madeira and the Creation of Connoisseurship 104

| The Whiskey Boom 111

| The Civil War 126

| By the Light of the Moon: The Rise of Illegal Whiskey Distilling During
the Reconstruction Era 142

| The Golden Age of Whiskey 160

| The Golden Age of the Southern Cocktail 176

| Southern Punch: “The Killer of Time, the Destroyer of Bitter Memory,
the Mortal Enemy of Despair” 190

| Southern Suds: The South Masters Brewing 200

| The South and Temperance 212

| National Prohibition 236

| Four Roses and Rebel Yell: The Return of Southern Distilling 252

| King Pappy: The Decline and Rebirth of Southern Drinking 275

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